MAZON – Christmas is about more than presents, it’s about the joy children feel when they wake up to the magic on Christmas morning.
That joy is what inspired Tina Brookman, her daughter Jamie Brookman, and Kristen Webster of Mazon to create Toys for Joy.
“There are so many families that fall through the cracks, they make too much money for traditional help but they can’t keep their head above water,” Tina Brookman said. “We want to help those families.”
Not reaching those families is a fear for the woman who spends the entire year collecting gently used and new toys for children of all ages.
Toys for Joy was again held this year at the Mazon United Methodist Church as a free event for families in need.
The tables were filled with dolls, board games, puzzles and more with something for children from newborn to 18. Webster said each year different people come and it shows her that what the trio is doing is needed.
The program requires identification for the new toys so there are enough for everyone and no identification for used toys, no proof of income, and serves everyone who comes to the church basement in need of help.
Tina Brookman said they limit the amount of new toys to ensure every child has at least one, since never know how many families will attend.
The women said by leaving the eligibility open with fewer requirements, people are more apt to come and get the help they need, unlike other programs that both require proof-of-income eligibility and have income cutoffs.
Tina Brookman said she understand the dilemma many working parents have. After paying bills, they don’t have money to buy gifts.
For seven years, all three women have collected new and gently used toys to give away.
This year the first event was held on Saturday, and they will open again on Saturday, Dec. 10 for those in need.
If you go:
What: Toys for Joy
Where: Mazon United Methodist Church 509 7th Street, Mazon
When: Dec. 10, 9 a.m. until noon